Brits cut back on holidays but tourism to UK hits record high

Julian Harris
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RECORD numbers of tourists landed in the UK in the 12 months to May, official data showed yesterday.

Yet the number of Britons holidaying abroad fell compared to the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

Brits’ holiday visits in the year to May totalled 35.9m, down three per cent on the previous 12 month period. Overall British journeys overseas – which include business and family trips – dropped one per cent to 56.6m, the data showed.

But in the year to May a total of 12.3m holiday visits were made to the UK – an all time high for tourism to Britain, and up three per cent on the previous 12 month period. Total visits to the UK also climbed by three per cent, coming in at 31.3m.

Tourists spent £18.2bn in the UK over the year in question – a rise of six per cent – while Brits abroad spent £31.2bn, a decline of two per cent.

“This resulted in a deficit to the UK of £13bn compared with £14.5bn during the same period to May 2011,” the report said.